By Paul Norman
It’s been 30 years since Stephen Roche won the Triple Crown of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championships in less than six months.
To mark the anniversary, cycle maker Officina Battaglin has launched a special edition Stephen Roche frameset. Like the original Battaglin bike ridden by Roche, the new Stephen Roche frameset is made of steel. And since it’s 30 years ago, Battaglin is only making 30 of the Roche frames, building them to order.
You can reserve a frame at http://officinabattaglin.com/roche. The frame is finished in corrosion resistant black chrome. It’s embellished with a decal reproduced from the 1980s bikes which was used by Battaglin to celebrate Roche’s win. To finish off, there’s a gold plaque bearing three diamonds, marking the three victories.
Battaglin Cycles started out making steel frames, but in 1996 switched to aluminium and carbon fibre. In 2014 Battaglin returned to hand building all its frames out of steel, with all being made in Italy with traditional lugged construction. Battaglin backs up its steel frames with a one million mile warranty against defects in material and workmanship. It says this is the longest and most comprehensive guarantee on the market.
The classic lugged frames are built in Columbus SLX tubing. It’s a name going back to the 70s and 80s, when it was the material from which top pro bikes were made, but went out of production in the late 1990s. Battaglin has worked with Columbus to reintroduce the SLX tubing for the Roche frame.
Watch: Show us your scars Stephen Roche
Columbus SLX tubing had internal helical reinforcements built into the end of its seat tube and down tube, ensuring that there was extra material around the bottom bracket area, where higher stresses occur.
Giovanni Battaglin himself was one of the top racers of his generation, A pro for 12 years, he won the Giro-Vuelta double in 1981 – only the second rider to do so after Eddy Merckx.
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